New York Yankees

Although it hasn’t been mentioned yet, the New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox matchup awfully well for a trade.

By Gregg Cambareri

The New York Yankees still need another legitimate arm in their starting rotation, preferably from the left side. The Chicago White Sox could use an outfield upgrade. On paper, these two teams match up well for a trade.

The offseason shopping list for most teams is just about complete, but the next few weeks should see most teams filling out rosters for good before the start of spring training.

The Yankees need another front of the rotation arm who can give them 200+ innings of quality ball. Look no further than White Sox starter Jose Quintana. He’s left handed, something the Yankee rotation lacks (come on, who knows what C.C. Sabathia has left), and slots in nicely as the team’s number two starter.

Quintana has delivered three straight seasons of at least 200 innings, while maintaining an ERA no higher than 3.51 over that span. He’s also on a team friendly deal, earning just over $21 million covering the next 3 seasons, with 2 options for 2019-20 valued at $10.5 million per season. That kind of money is more than a bargain in today’s game for a number 2.

His relatively young age (27 next week), modest salary, and successful track record mean he won’t come cheaply. The White Sox also look to contend next season rather than rebuild, so they’ll require impact players already at or near the major league level.

Therefore, the Yankees should trade OF Brett Gardner and catching prospect Gary Sanchez to acquire Quintana.

Okay, so the White Sox aren’t desperate for help in the corner outfield, but an upgrade is in order if they intend to compete with the defending champion Royals, reloaded Tigers, young and upcoming Twins, and pitching rich Indians. Melky Cabrera had a solid but unspectacular (1.4 WAR) 2015. He could easily slide over from left field to right to make way for Gardner. The AL Central has no weak team, so the White Sox will be looking to put out the best roster possible.

Avisail Garcia has not become the impact bat the White Sox had hoped, posting sub-replacement level production thus far in his career (WAR not above 0 in any season, zero!). He’s not known for his speed or defense, so he hasn’t provided them with much value. He’s still only 24, but he looks more like a fourth outfielder at this point. A change of scenery might do him some good, but the bottom line is that the White Sox need better production from their corner outfield to contend.

Gardner would give the ChiSox a great 1-2 punch at the top of their lineup. He and center fielder Adam Eaton both post solid OBP numbers and run well. They would be great table setters at the top of the lineup, and can cover plenty of ground in the outfield. Gardner is owed 36 million over the next three years, but the White Sox shouldn’t have much issue adding around $7 million in net payroll.

To get something, you have to give something, though. That means parting with highly regarded catching prospect Gary Sanchez. The White Sox acquired Alex Avila this offseason, but he isn’t their long term answer behind the plate. After seeing what the Atlanta Braves were able to net for Shelby Miller, a premium prospect like Sanchez would probably be required to make this work.

The White Sox have also been linked with Yoenis Cespedes this offseason; if their pursuit of the Cuban slugger falls through, a trade for Gardner could be in play.

There are also other variables that need to be accounted for. If the Yankees do trade Garnder, are they comfortable giving ample playing time to newly acquired Aaron Hicks? If the White Sox lose Quintana, does that mean they pursue someone like Yovani Gallardo to fill the hole in the rotation? Those are tough questions for their respective GM’s to answer, in all fairness. Obviously, they’ll have to evaluate which problem is easier to address.

But until spring training is upon us, New York and Chicago should be open for business.


  1. I wouldn’t make that trade. Looks like a giveaway to Chicago. Keep Gardner, he’s the clubhouse leader. Keep Sanchez, because he’s our future, all-star catcher. That’s too much for a middle-rotation starter.

    Run a 6 man starting rotation with what we’ve got. Replace broken parts, through minor signings and whoever’s hot in Scranton. Hope Ellsbury has a good year and trade him, while his value is high, even if that trade is just a salary dump.

    Let Gardner grow old on the bench. You’ll need him in 2 years to serve as a clubhouse bridge from Jeter-era Yankees, into whatever they are going to become.

  2. As you mentioned in the article, Shelby Miller brought the braves a crazy haul back. Quintana has shown to be much better than Miller in the AL, 4 more years of low cost team control, the white sox need a catcher but the price would probably be just as high as Miller, prospect wise. I don’t think the Yankees want to make that trade and the white sox need pitching to compete in their division.

  3. Why would the White Sox ever make this trade? Sanchez is a prospect who hasn’t panned out, and Gardner is a 4th OF. The Sox have turned down Car Go and Story for Quintana already. Need to come much stronger. I

  4. Gonna have to give up way more than just gardner and a prospect to get a pitcher like quintana. Quintana has very similar numbers to shelby miller and could even argue he has more value then him because of his contract. The package the diamonbacks got for him was worth way more than a slightly above average overrated outfielder who is on the down side of his career, and a prospect. Another east coast bias article trying to get attention.

  5. This is idiocy. The Sox, by all indications, want to win NOW while they have both Sale and Abreu in their primes on good contract terms. They need to upgrade right field, but they’re not going to deplete an already thin rotation to do so. It’s nice to think about if you’re a Yankees fan, but it just ain’t gonna happen.

  6. In your dreams… Sox will take Gardner for a couple of minor league pitchers…. Quintana is 3rd in the Sox rotation and they will not trade him, especially with the team friendly contract. The MLB is no longer the minor leagues for the yankees…. get real…. your team is an also run in competitive balanced league.